Facing Tutorial

I finished quilting the small ladder piece and decided since I was going to face it, that I might take some pics along the way and try my hand at creating a tutorial to show how I do it. I realize there are many ways to do this but this is what works for me. Beware, this post is long and has lots of pics!

First I trim the quilted piece to size.

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Next I cut my facing strips. I cut these 2″ wide. Length doesn’t matter at this point as long as they are longer than each side of your quilt. I fold one long edge of each strip under aout 1/4″ like this:

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Then I apply a length of 1/4″ fusible tape to each side. This is made by Dritz and is used to make fusible bindings etc. I have also used the wider stuf made for hemming pants the lazy way. This is what this looks like:

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I apply this to the folded edge of the facing strips like this:

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Next I measure the top and bottom of my quilt and cut the top and bottom facing pieces slightly shorter. I find this helps to get a nicer edge when it is all done as the shorter facings can take up some of the fullness and insure that the facing stays to the back and doesn’t wshow from the front.  After this, I lay the top and bottom strips onto the front of the quilt, fusible side up like this:

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See how I left the paper backing on the fusible strips? They won’t be removed until much later. Now the fun starts. I am going to peel back a bit of the paper at one corner Like this:

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I then lay one of the side facings down over the exposed fusible like this:

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Then I lay the paper back down and press to fuse the corner pieces together.  It will look like this:

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You can trim the extra seam allowance at this point if you want to. After I have done all four corners in this manner, the facing is now fused at the corners into one piece. I place a pin in the top of the quilt and the top facing piece so I don’t get things switched around.

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Then I take the facing to the sewing machine, fold back the fused seams in the corners and sew on the fold line. The pics of this step didn’t turn out well so that is why you don’t see it! After that, I pin the facing back onto the front of the quilt.  and sew around the edge with a 1/4″ seam and a walking foot on my machine. I trim the corners and it looks like this:

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Now it is time to turn the facing to the back. It will look pretty wonky at this point but don’t panic, it will get better:

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I hope you didnt remove all the paper yet! It is time to roll the edges with your fingers and give a good hard press to the edges. I start in the center of each side and then go back and do the corners. After you have pressed it well and you are happy with it, NOW you can remove the paper:

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Now carefully press to fuse the facing to the quilt back. This is the final press, take it slow! Turn it over and admire your lovely work!

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You can hand stitch the folded edges of the facing to the quilt back while watching DEEE-TROIT BASKETBALLL!!!

The neat thing about this method, is that your quilt doesn’t have to be square for it to work well. I am finding that I like art quilts with wonky edges and weird angles. Hope this helps.

Sorry my pics are not great. I do know to work on that next time! Let me know if you give this method a try or if you have any suggestions for me for future tutorials.

ADDENDUM:

Lots of people have asked why I handstitch after fusing the facing. I am, generally speaking, not a fuser, so for me, it feels finished when I have done the hand sewing. It is something I like to do. I think of the fusing as basting. This is entirely up to you. If you feel it will hold well enough without stitiching, go for it!

About katyquilts

I am a wife, mom of four amazing adult kids, and a former librarian. I love making everything from traditional quilts to art quilts. I am thankful to God my Father and Creator for the gift of creativity!
This entry was posted in Ladders Series, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Facing Tutorial

  1. Great job Katy. I have bookmarked it for the future. I hate doing bindings and anything to make it easier – I’m all over it! Thanks again.

  2. Jo Rice says:

    Good job! I actually understood it. But if you ironedd it down, whyt did you have to sew it by hand? Jo

  3. Rita says:

    great job on your first tutorial, i was able to follow right to the end of your directions. I will try this way the next time I edge a piece.
    Thanks
    Rita Legere

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